Transcript of Beginning school strong and successfully Part 4

Beginning school strong and successfully – Part 4 video (1:04:25)

Sheree Bell – Hi and welcome everyone to Beginning School Strong and Successfully Part Four with the focus on continuity of learning. I'd like to begin by acknowledging and paying my respects to the Biddegal people, the traditional custodians of the land which I'm on today. I'd also like to pay my respects to the traditional custodians of all the lands that you're on today as well. I acknowledge the Biddegals Peoples continuing connection to land water and community. I would also like to pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging and acknowledge any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders viewing this presentation. So to get us started, I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Sheree Bell and I'm one of the Early Learning Advisors within the Early Learning team. Today joining me is my colleague Kelly Birkett. Hi Kelly.

Kelly Birkett – Hi Sheree. Hi everyone and welcome back.

Sheree Bell – So here are the course outcomes today. In particular, this recording we are addressing in outcome five reflecting on how age appropriate pedagogies in kindergarten classroom support continuity of learning. So as far as the course materials and transition resources, as we've mentioned before, you can access these through Microsoft Teams in the files tab there. There's a folder specifically set up for all the resources. So the course overview we're now up to part four continuity of learning.

We're going to start just by setting the scene a little we will just show this as a bit of a reminder for what was looked at in part one around the school excellence framework. You can see there at those two levels, continuity of learning is noted in the sustaining and growing. The school seeks to collaborate with parents and students whose continuity of learning is at risk and in excelling the school engages in strong collaborations between parents, students and the community that inform and support continuity of learning for all students at transition points, including highly mobile students and students with a typical enrolment. When we talk about continuity of learning were making reference to that continuity of learning from an early childhood education service into kindergarten. Continuity in learning in terms of transition is all about a seamless transition from the home and those early childhood education services into school, which then builds upon that learning that they're bringing with them. The continuity of learning, support successful transitions and is crucial for optimising improved outcomes for children. This involves knowing what and how children are learning in each of those spaces that private and school space. A discontinuity can hinder a successful transition. The greater the discontinuity, the more kind of culture shock or alienated a child may feel. To support the continuity in the area of curriculum, schools can find out about respect and acknowledge prior learning. Build upon the wealth of experiences and knowledge each child brings with them and to support continuity in the area of pedagogy. Schools can use age appropriate pedagogies, which we will go into in a little bit more detail later on. So in this recording we will look at first the curriculum of the early childhood education services. You've got some knowledge about the context of the setting that children are coming from and then how pedagogy and kindergarten can support that continuity of learning. We will start here, with what does early childhood curriculum look like. Thanks OK.

Kelly Birkett – Thanks Sheree. You might recognise the image there, the document belonging being incoming, that's the early yearly learning framework, the mandatory national curriculum for the prior to school services. The reason we're looking at this in the presentation is so that you have an understanding, if not already, of the curriculum children have experienced prior to school. It's a broad holistic framework developed to guide early childhood educators to develop quality early childhood education programs and to ensure all children receive a quality early childhood education. The early years learning framework is built on the concepts or themes of belonging, being and becoming. The vision of the document is for all children to experience play based learning that is engaging and build success for life, and the aim is to extend and enrich children's learning from birth to five years. Through the transition to school the early years learning framework takes a sociocultural approach to learning, that is children learn through relationships and interactions. Here is very much a snapshot. The EYLF is structured around three interrelated elements, we've got the principals at the beginning there in the middle the practices and then on the right the learning outcomes. You'll notice in red there, one of the practices continuity of learning and transitions. The document highlights the importance of smooth transition between preschool and school. You'll be familiar already with those principles in the first box because we talked about them being applicable to a high quality transition were we particularly unpacked them in part two. The EYLF sets out what content should be taught, but not as explicitly as the K to 6 syllabus. It has more of a focus on how content should be taught so the pedagogical practices, the five learning outcomes encompass lifelong goals and include dispositions towards learning that underpin engagement, and the knowledge, skills, and understandings that are essential foundations. Unlike the K to 6 syllabus documents, the EYLF does not prescribe what children should know or be able to do at certain stages, nor does it state explicitly what educators must teach. The document includes points of evidence that are the shorter term objectives and often discrete skills or content. The early years learning framework also is written in a way that local context can interpret it to suit their children and their community.

So at the start of each of the K to 6 syllabus documents is this same statement noting that the movement into early stage one should be seen as a continuum of learning from the home setting and the early years learning framework into early stage one. The New South Wales documents recognise that the EYLF establishes the foundations for effective learning in school and throughout life and aims to build on those foundations. The documents are complementary and provide articulated pathways of learning from early childhood education into school and beyond.

Sheree Bell – It's really quality teaching and remains the cornerstone of both of those documents. Kelly, doesn't it?

Kelly Birkett – Absolutely.

Sheree Bell – because it's including reflection and evaluation and those holistic approaches with the concepts of wellbeing linked closely with Learning, responsiveness to children and differentiation using age appropriate pedagogies and integrated learning programs and, of course, that learning through play inquiry, learning, problem solving, and project based learning or future focused learning.

Kelly Birkett – Yes, that's right. Thanks, Sheree. There's actually a document shown on the right of the screen here. It was written by ACARA and the early Childhood Association of Australia. It includes these tables to show the links between the early years learning framework and the kindergarten curriculum. Just have a little look at that table now. So that is just one of them. It refers to outcome five from the early years learning framework. That outcome is children are effective communicators. Then the second column you can see the Melbourne declaration goals that particular outcome relates to. The Australian curriculum learning areas and the general capabilities. The tables in the document include broad brush connections that are philosophical and conceptual as well as a few specific links at the level of learning area content. The reason we've included this in the presentation is just to show you that there is a continuum of learning from the early years learning framework into the Australian curriculum, which has influenced obviously the New South Wales syllabus documents.

Sheree Bell – Yes, that's really helpful to look at them and think about them like that to really think about that continuity of learning. That's a great resource Kelly, thank you.

So earlier in the presentation we mentioned that to support continuity in the area of pedagogy, schools could use age appropriate pedagogies. So we're going to take a little bit of a look at that now, and we're going to start with a video from the age appropriate pedagogies website through the Department of Education in QLD.

Age appropriate pedagogies are shaping teaching and learning in the early years of school now and into the future. The research shows children learn best when they are actively engaged in purposeful learning experiences. The Australian curriculum outlines the knowledge, understanding and skills all young Australians should be taught. Grounded in contemporary research literature, age appropriate pedagogies support teachers to identify the most effective way to teach curriculum content by providing a conceptual framework to support pedagogical decision making and reflection. Positioned at the centre of the age appropriate pedagogies conceptual framework, is the child, their interests and capabilities. The teacher is also represented with recognition of their interests, skills, capabilities, and philosophies. The three vital and connected components of curriculum, context and evidence of learning, situate teacher decision-making within the teaching and learning process. The conceptual framework then outlines the various approaches of age appropriate pedagogies, inquiry, learning event based learning, project approach, explicit instruction, play based learning, direct teaching and instruction, and a blended approach, and the inherent characteristics of age appropriate pedagogies. Active agentic collaborative, creative, explicit. Language rich and dialogic learner focused narrative. Playful, responsive and scaffolded arrange and balance of approaches and characteristics are required. Overtime the research literature is very clear that age appropriate pedagogies are necessary in the early years of school to engage young learners achieve learning outcomes and set children up for long term success. Age appropriate pedagogies shaping teaching and learning in the early years of school.

Fantastic, so that just provides a little bit of an overview of the age appropriate pedagogies and the characteristics and approaches that are part of that that age appropriate pedagogies thinking. It was very much just an overview, so if you'd like to do some more reading around age appropriate pedagogies, there is a website that you can go to, these are just some of the things that you can find on that website. There's the foundation paper summary, there's some explanation of terms, the third link there actually provides a link to a video it's about 10 minutes long and it provides I guess the characteristics in action, which is fantastic as well. So definitely check that out as you reflect on age appropriate pedagogies and continuity of learning as part of your transition to school. I think actually Kelly is there some of these resources found in the folder in teams as well.

Kelly Birkett – Yes, I've got the first two, the blue documents there I've downloaded and then uploaded them into there and I will also have a look at uploading the video.

Sheree Bell – Oh fantastic thanks. Kelly that would be great. Just nice, easy access, but that website is fantastic. There's a lot of great case studies and resources that you can access there to learn more about age appropriate pedagogies.

Kelly Birkett – Sounds good, and this work that the Queensland Government did on age appropriate pedagogies was in conjunction with in partnership with a University. Was that Curtin University, Sheree?

Sheree Bell – I know Professor Bev Fluckiger is from Griffith University and The Institute of Educational Research.

Kelly Birkett – Oh great, sorry to put you on the spot there.

Sheree Bell – No that’s okay.

Kelly Birkett – Definitely some great research and really interesting to look at. These resources on the website or through our teams folder.

Sheree Bell – Yes, they've got some good information about data collected from the research too that shows the impact as well, which is really interesting to have a bit of a read of. Now I'm just struggling to move to the next slide.

Kelly Birkett – No worries.

Sheree Bell – Just move it across. Perfect thank you. So look, I hope you enjoyed that Video and that quick overview of age appropriate pedagogies. In this slide here, it kind of just shows three of the age appropriate teaching approaches mentioned in the video, and a bit of a brief summary of the main points from each of these three approaches. So we've got inquiry learning, which lends itself particularly well to science and technology, while the project approach lends itself really well to history, geography, PDHPE. Then we look at play based learning, which lends itself to every area. So if you're looking to utilise these approaches, you can really support that continuity of learning.

Kelly Birkett – The early years learning framework is very much based on play based learning, so the children in your kindergarten who've attended a service before school will be very familiar with that as an approach to learning, and that will support them, they'll be comfortable, they'll be familiar, and they'll thrive.

Sheree Bell – Absolutely, absolutely. I might need you to move across one more. So we have just got a quote here for you to reflect on nothing magical or mysterious happens to children's brains or learning styles in the six week holiday period between finishing early years education and starting school. There are no grounds, therefore, for abruptly changing the teaching style and content. Rather, there is a strong rationale for seeking greater alignment between early years services in school curricula with a more gradual introduction to structured learning. So something to think about as the little ones, as our kindergarten cohort come into school.

Kelly Birkett – Yes, yes thanks Sheree such a powerful quote all of a sudden they are wearing a uniform, but the child's learning style hasn't changed.

Sheree Bell – Yes, yes, absolutely.

Kelly Birkett – OK, so in this next section we're going to focus on play is a context for learning. Learning through play or play based learning strongly supports the continuity of learning, so in the early years of formal schooling, it's really important to provide familiar play based learning opportunities. Play based approaches and pedagogies provide continuity and help children adjust to their new setting with a strong sense of familiarity and competency. As we've said before the children entering kinder have come from a setting or home where play based learning was prioritised and viewed as the most effective way for children to learn

Sheree Bell – and that's what we heard in the video, wasn't it we heard that play based and active learning approaches are age appropriate and promote learning.

Kelly Birkett – yes, absolutely. OK, so we will look now at the benefits of play. I'm sure a lot of this won't be news to you, but I just wanted to document it. Play provides a context for learning through which children organise and makes sense of their social worlds as they engage actively with people, objects and representations play stimulates various parts of the brain, reinforcing networks and strengthening brain development. Play allows for the practise and application of learning inauthentic situation. So that's the approach event based learning referred to in the video, play enables children to make connection between prior experiences and new learning, plays open ended enabling children to participate at their own level without the fear of being right or wrong, and finally play promotes increased feelings of success and optimism as children act as their own ages and make their own choices.

Sheree Bell – It's no surprise there's considerable research of the benefits of play for children's learning across all those areas of development, creative, social, emotional, well being, and physical.

Kelly Birkett – Absolutely, and on the screen now you can see just a few of the capabilities and skills that children develop or learn as they play. OK, you could add some more points to this slide, but the particular thing I really love about players that when they play the children can take risks and they transfer what they've learned in other situations into their play, and because it's fun comfortable there confident they do take risks and they'll push themselves further than what they would in a more formal learning situation. OK. We are going to watched another video. This video is being made by Department staff member Kelly Van Stable. She's a school counsellor. She's a registered psychologist and also a project officer with the refugee student counselling support team. So in this video, Kelly discusses the stage of play, the importance of pretend play and implications to child development when certain stages of play are missed. So I'll start the video now.

The interesting thing about play is it actually develops in stages and it's real.

Kelly Birkett – I'll just try that again. Sorry, I'll just try one more time.

It is important for teachers to be aware of this, because you can actually assess or really track child's progress and development based on how they play. So, solitary play, usually occurs from birth up to the first two years of life and this is when the child plays alone, so they're not really interested in playing with other children quite yet. This is where their priority is developing bonds with caregivers. Spectator or onlooker play actually develops closer to the two year mark, and this is where children begin to watch each other, but they don't necessarily play together. Parallel play emerges around two years when a child plays alongside or near others, but doesn't play with them so that they're playing side by side and had no interest in interacting. Associative play starts to happen around three years of age, and this is when a child starts to interact with others during play. But there's not a large amount of interaction at this stage, so a child might be doing an activity related to the children around them, but not actually interacting. So, for example, they might all be playing on the same piece of playground equipment, but all doing different things like climbing and swinging. Pretend play has many other names like imaginative play, creative play or make believe play and examples of display include playing superheroes, playing Mummies and Daddies, dressing up and having a meal with a teddy bear for example. So this actually begins to emerge around 18 months for most children and by four years old children can quite often play out quite complex scenes together over several days. Unoccupied play is not quite represented accurately in this picture. Usually unoccupied play occurs in children between birth and three months, and it's really where the child doesn't look like they're playing at all. There may be randomly moving with no particular objective, but despite appearances, this is definitely play and sets the stage for further play exploration. So we know from the research that's coming out of Deacon University at the moment that the play therapy masters there, that children who do not reach the stage of pretend play share particular difficulties. So this can be social behaviour and academic. So if we look at as social, for example, children who have not reached pretend play stage may find it really hard to be independent in their play. Only want to deal with play with structured games like puzzles for example. They may really struggle to take the perspective of others. Behaviourally children have not reached pretend play stage may seem like they are quite disruptive. They may destroy the others games and scenes. If they do play out a story it may end very quickly so their narrative is not sustained, so the character always dies, for example, very quickly in the story, and they could be quite unorganised. So for example, let's just say you have a year four teacher and she's made available a lot of pretend play toys for her students, because in terms of developmental play, they should all have reached pretend play stage by year four. Some students will actually play successfully, but some will actually really struggle, so they may get rough, they may fight, they may bicker over the equipment and not actually play with it and the difficulty there is that those children, although they may come across as disruptive and seen disruptive, are actually maybe not at pretend play stage yet. They actually don't know how to create narratives without equipment, and so they may do other things instead. They might try and imitate what they've seen on TV, so they might try and be a power ranger and go around kicking people or annoying other children by knocking things off their desks or prodding them as they walk past. Because really, this is actually all they know how to do in that situation. They are unable to take the perspective of other children in that situation because they're not at the same stage of development. So if you could imagine two children building a magical castle with blocks together and they are really co creating and focusing on their blocks and their castle, and then another child comes along and crashes through that castle and knocks it all over and then laughs and thinks it's really funny. What's happening there is that the child that's destroyed the castle may not actually understand the specialness of what his peers have created together, simply because he's not yet at the same stage of play. So if you consider what the typical reaction to this event would be, people get annoyed, they start to think that the student is disruptive and has social skills issues. He may be diagnosed with ADHD or ASD when really what's going on there is that child has not reached the same play stage as his peers and so is finding it really difficult to connect in and relate. So this can make the playground a really difficult place for some students because we're misunderstanding their behaviour as disruptive rather than developmental. It means they often get referred for the social and behavioural issues when actually what they need is support to play more at their level of development and naturally work their way up through those place stages, from solitary to all the way up to pretend play. Most children, with the exception of those, perhaps with a developmental disability, will naturally work their way up through those stages without much support. They just need the time and the space and help with safety. This is essentially the progress of childhood, so it's not something we have to get in there and change in a rush. We simply need to provide the right environment so that they can catch up to their peers and it makes sense also academically if you think of two little children playing together, and maybe one has a dolly in her arms and she says to the playmate next to her own. My dolly has a sore arm and her playmates says I'll be the doctor and I'll put a band aid on it and maybe she sticks a band aid on dolly's arm. This is an example of where narrative is born, so it's understandable then that overtime as their play becomes more and more complicated and complex maybe they decide to go to the hospital together. Maybe there's an operation. Maybe other children then join in so the narrative becomes more complex and evolves overtime. So, it’s understandable then, that children who have not reached that stage would have difficulty writing stories, difficulty predicting what comes next in the story, difficulty with providing questions when asked about a text or comprehending what they're reading, thinking that they can also get quite stuck in concrete thinking. So let's quickly look at the different types of play. So child centred play is really important. It's when the child leads and makes their own decisions about what that place is going to look like and how they will go about it there in complete control of the play. This type of play is so important for children, because they will instinctively develop social skills like sharing, taking turns, tolerance of others through this post process, and they can often do all this learning without the assistance of the adults. The adult really just needs to provide some supervision and safety in that situation. In this play, there's no right, no wrong. It's really about children just using their imaginations to develop games and interact without being in an adult led environment. So it is really important children are given lots of time and space to play in this way and really that you know that play can involve equipment or not. It can be inside or outside. It can have an end product or it may not. So really this play is all about playing for play sake. Adult led play and guided play can kind of be considered under the banner of educational play. So guided play is where maybe the adult leads, then the child leads the adult leads and the child leads, so it's kind of a weaving of the two leading and following and this is really where adult and child can go on a journey together. Adult lead play is where the adult decides what the activity will be and what the rules are. The Victorian early years learning and development framework.

Kelly Birkett – Not quite sure what's happening with the sound there. This is nearly the last slide. I think it actually is. Kelly was going to talk about play is a dance and that generally a good quality program will have a combination of adult lead learning, child directed play and learning and guided play and learning. OK, I'll just see if I just, oh yes, we did actually come to the end there, Kelly noted play can be adult or child directed, so this is important to keep in mind because often there's a misconception that play is just completely free with no adult playing is just basically a free for all there's no intervention or direction, but this is not actually the case when we're talking about play based learning. Often that it's a balanced approach and we're going to have a look now at a few examples of adult led and guided play, which addresses early learning outcomes. In early childhood education settings, educators are very deliberate about the play they direct or the learning areas they create for children, and then often the children will go in there and direct their own play but there is intentionality about that the setup of that environment.

OK, so this quote just basically reviews and confirms this little section. Child directed play is a teaching and learning approach familiar to all children. They use it at home with siblings or friends on their own at early childhood settings, for example, during transition to School, opportunities continue with this style of learning can help children adjust to other guided play or adult led teaching and learning approaches. Play based approaches and pedagogies provide continuity and help children adjust to their new setting with a strong sense, familiarity and competency.

OK. Pardon me, if you haven't had much contact with an early childhood education service, it is handy to know what the key differences are between the service and a school setting and how the children experience that setting. It will make you possibly a little more understanding and empathetic of what the child's come from and how it does contrast with the school setting. It's also helpful to know because the expectations of a new child in kindergarten can be quite different from what they are use to.

OK, so in an early childhood education service there's a ratio of one adult to ten children or less. So straight away you've got less responsiveness from adults because you just don't have as many around. In the other childhood service, the routine is flexible and can be adapted to meet the needs of the children. There's a timetable, but it’s fully flexible and depending on what's going on and how people are feeling, if someone is completely engaged in something, a play period can be extended. You don't have the bells obviously breaking your day up. Children's agency is promoted and they are supported to make decisions about things that affect them. The indoors and outdoors are viewed as equally important learning environments, so the planning of the outdoor environment is planned equally as well for as the indoor environment. Families are viewed as equal partners in decision making around curriculum and as we've talked about learning through play, providing open ended experiences and active learning are prioritised. The curriculum is child centred with children's interests and strengths used as a vehicle for learning.

OK, so in this next section we are just going to a have a little look at what it might look like to use a play based approach to address the early stage one syllabus outcomes.

OK, so on this slide there's some examples of play based learning experiences which are teacher initiated and directed to address maths outcomes. As you know, in maths early stage one the syllabus has a strong focus on using concrete materials and their hands on manipulation of objects. Resources such as play dough, collections of objects and board games are familiar to the children who attended preschool or maybe at home and will support continuity of learning. So in the darker text there I've just got the outcomes from the math syllabus and then in blue the lighter blue some activities that can be used to address those outcomes. So have a read there.

OK, here's a video. It's a role play cafe that's been set up. I'm not sure what year level it is, but in the video as you are watching it, think about the maths outcomes that are addressed. Pretend play is the vehicle here for learning as talked about in the video. Are the children engaged and on task? What I just said, the outcomes are addressed, which outcomes are addressed and how could the area be modified to address additional outcomes?

OK, so before we move on Sheree Is there anything in particular that you noticed there?

Sheree Bell – Oh well, there was obviously a lot of dealings with money being a cafe there. What was interesting about the children's engagement was everyone kind of knew how it all kind of operated together. They were having a turn at being a customer and some children behind the scenes doing the cooking and some were delivering so they all kind of knew their role but they did actually swap over. They kind of seamlessly swapped over at some points there too.

Kelly Birkett – They did. I loved how engaged they were. Everybody was on task and yes, obviously really concentrating and focusing to make sure they did their role, carried out their role as they should.

Sheree Bell – They did absolutely and I think that the teacher there she really didn't have to be. They were kind of inviting her into the play and she was able to scaffold a little something along the way there through her language. Oh, you know I've only got $1 here. I need to get three. Hang on I'll get a little bit more and so she did scaffold through a language, but in a play based way.

Kelly Birkett – Yes for sure I wondered also one of the little signs on the wall gave me the idea that maybe adding a unequal arm balance or a set of scales that the children could use to weight fruit or to somehow make a decision about what something costs based on weight might be a way of extending the learning there.

Sheree Bell – Absolutely, I was also thinking I couldn't quite see exactly what was going on in the actual kitchen behind the counter there, but thinking about, you know, cooking and looking at measurement, and even fractions and weights and things like that. As far as cooking because to extend the maths of it. What was interesting though is there was some literacy already included in there, from the signs on the back of the wall there which is kind of labelling some of the things like whisking and beating and things like that as far as cooking. But they also had the pad and paper to take the order for the cafe.

Kelly Birkett – Yes, and the conversation between the children it was nice to hear the communication. That was great. Alright, thanks for that.

OK, so we'll move on now and have a little look at English just like we did with the maths. Here's some examples of play based learning addressing English outcomes through play. So for instance, an outcome related to communication could be addressed by small groups using puppets or making story characters to retell a familiar story. An outcome demonstrates developing skills and using letters, simple sound lens and some sight words represent known words when spelling. There's a few different ways. One thing you could do is there could be a word family dice game, so students would take turns rolling a dice showing word families, and then they could after each roll, each student writes as many words as they can from the word family on a small white board. It's teacher directed as the teacher initiated but it is still play. A variation might be that the students decide which word families should be shown on the dice or another variation might be single letters as shown, and that the students list words starting with each particular for name, just different ways to vary it to differentiate.

Sheree Bell – What's good about that is the first variation you mentioned there Kelly is having the students decide a little bit of something towards their learning. A little bit of that kind of agentic age appropriate approach there as well.

Kelly Birkett – Absolutely, absolutely, and I mean just to have two or three different activities which addressed the same outcome, but giving the students the option of choosing which one they engage with is really important. Yes, keeps them motivated and definitely helps the levels of engagement.

Sheree Bell – For sure.

Kelly Birkett – So we'll look at another video, but this is very similar to the one we just saw about the cafe. This is another role play situation set up in a classroom. This is KK’s restaurant, the recording, the sounds good. The picture is not quite as smooth. I guess you'd say it's a little bit jumpy, but we decided it is only two minutes and it's a very valuable video. So in this video the children are practicing their reading, writing skills. OK, we might just have a listen as you viewing the video think about the English learning outcomes that you think are being addressed and again, just like last time how the play experience and or environment could be modified to promote greater learning, also how could they experience, lend itself to learning in other learning areas of Cross curriculum priorities and general capabilities.

Energy, food, carbohydrate. Are you making that healthy meal for anyone in particular? Are you making that healthy meal For anyone in particular. For the baby. That one’s made for our age. Chicken and avocado. Some are berries with yogurt. Rice with mango sauce. Open and shut. And so do you come to the restaurant everyday? Yes. What do you like doing there at the restaurant? Making lunch, pictures and prices.

Kelly Birkett – OK, anything particular catch your interest Sheree?

Sheree Bell – That was just great. I was thinking about they were highly engaged again. They were really into their job, what they were doing in this restaurant and creating it and setting up the boards and they were really thinking about how it worked operationally. These little open and closed signs that he popped up there. This is when it's open. This is for when it's closed, so there was a lot going on. I'm thinking maybe modifications may have been several different examples of other restaurants, say menus or things like that. Maybe some with pictures, perhaps moved into a bit of creative arts with some drawing as well.

Kelly Birkett – Absolutely and it's hard, I mean, it's obviously a project that had been ongoing for a while. We just saw a little tiny snippet. I'd be intrigued as to what sort of modelling took place. It seems to me that very much the children had transferred skills that they've already learned. So for instance, that little fellow who was writing the times I just wonder if there was an explicit lesson on writing the digital time and then he's transferred that skill here in this situation. Not sure.

Sheree Bell – Yes, I guess like you say, look it is such a short snippet so I would be interested to know even how far into this project it is and where it started and how it developed overtime and whether really the children took it on board and shaped the direction that the project went in. Like you say, what explicit teaching the teacher came in and out of that play?

Kelly Birkett – Yes, would be very interesting to know, so we'll move on. But hopefully now you've just got a little idea of what it might look like in a kindergarten classroom and obviously there's been a million variations on that.

OK, so another way that teachers would address learning through play is to have a bit more of a holistic view. So for instance setting up a construction area in the classroom and then using that one learning area to address outcomes from a number of learning areas. At the top of each of the columns there you can see the particular experience, so they are teacher guided. So for instance, to address English outcome ENE 6B experience might be children are provided with a wide range of 3D objects to build with and then asked to orally describe to a peer, older buddy or teacher how they built their construction using past tense and time connectives. To address a maths outcome related to manipulating, sorting and representing 3D objects and describing them as experience might be that children provided again with a range of 3D objects and then they are encouraged to talk about what they're doing as they build and stack. OK, and then there's a science and technology outcome related to exploring the characteristics, needs and uses of living things, and perhaps a guided experience in that corner or area of the classroom it might be that the teacher modifies the area by adding some nonfiction texts about animals, animal figurines, and measuring instruments and then ask the children and scaffolds them to design and construct appropriately sized in quiet zoo enclosures for a number of animals that meet their needs. Finally PDHPE using interpersonal skills to effectively interact with others. This could be addressed by small group work, where groups of two or three children are given challenges that they need to solve as a group in the construction area. For instance, build a tower one meter tall using exactly nine blocks so that challenge and challenge of working in a small group would facilitate and develop those interpersonal skills, obviously the teachers able to model and prompt and scaffold the children.

OK, so we'll just move on to the next slide. So here's some general tips for adapting everyday activities to incorporate age appropriate pedagogies. You might have some other ideas as well. This was just a little bit of a brainstorm and ways to adapt everyday activities to incorporate age appropriate pedagogies. One thing you might try is providing the children with more choice and options of what they engage with, as well as how they demonstrate their learning. So that will support their agency. I can't remember what it is. Yes, agentic characteristic of learning. Make sure as much as possible you use resources and materials that children can touch and manipulate. Include activities that involve the children in moving and doing. Incorporate activities which can be done with a friend or in a small group requiring collaboration and communication. Find out about the children's interests and use these as the vehicle for learning. What I meant by that is perhaps the restaurant was actually initiated by an interest from a child or a group of children. Strive to provide a balance of teacher and child led experiences as children engage in play experiences scaffold their learning by modelling, encouraging, questioning, adding challenges and giving feedback. So that second last point there that refers to the role of the teacher in the children's play. Modify teacher expectations to accommodate different learning styles.

OK, so that's the end of that section.

Sheree Bell – And I think as we just kind of wrap up and conclude this recording and all of the recordings. We might just go back and recap some of the key messages or key points from each of each of the recordings. I might need to get you to move it across.

Kelly Birkett – Sorry, yes,

Sheree Bell – That's OK. So Part one really looked at the transition to school guidelines supporting the school to plan, implement and evaluate high quality transition. practices Evidence has shown The importance of a successful transition to school. In Part two, we looked at the principles of effective transition, including partnerships, relationships, high expectations, respect for diversity. We unpacked a little bit more about the how data should inform planning, as well as evaluating the effectiveness of transition practices and looking how some children and families might require a more tailored transition support. Part three focused on effective transition practices, including participation in, for example, transition networks, reciprocal visits, communication with families and orientation programs, and this recording Part four we've focused on continuity of learning and how it supports successful transitions. Age appropriate pedagogies such as play based learning and how they support a continuity in the pedagogy children experience.

Kelly Birkett – Thanks Sheree. There's so much content there. Some very brief key messages that try to encapsulate all of the content we've covered.

Sheree Bell – So this next slide here. I guess again highlights what effective transition looks like? What underpins an effective transition? So an effective transition is collaborative. It includes orientation to the school as part of a broader transition. It draws on dedicated funding and resources. It's well planned and effectively evaluated. Effective transition is flexible and responsive. It takes into account contextual aspects of the community and individual families and children. It seeks out and involves a range of stakeholders and establishes positive relationships with children, parents and educators. That's really been woven through everything hasn't it that collaboration, that connection, that relationship that partnership. So where to next Kelly after this? What actions are we going to take?

Kelly Birkett – Yes, definitely. If you haven't already at your school got a transition team, or if you're a small school, even with one other buddy to work with it's worth getting that going. Then I guess work towards those goals you documented in the step three of your reflection scaffold. The practices you'd like to try or modify. Definitely try to embed and make sustainable the good things that you are doing. Some schools develop a little policy procedure or even an annual timeline of the activities in the program so that things do continue year after year and they become embedded school practice so that everyone knows in term three every year, this is what happens in regard to transition.

Sheree Bell – That's important too for that continuity, isn't it Kelly when you have got staffing changes or people you know who are more involved this year than they were last year depending on what classes they're teaching. So that's really important to establish that kind of sustainable practice.

Kelly Birkett – Absolutely and often it is a good idea not to put peoples names next to the tasks, but put a role so that if someone leaves, it's not kind of like, well, that was so and so's job, no one does it now it's that position. The person who takes over in that position picks up that role.

Sheree Bell – OK, great

Kelly Birkett – and finally if you are still working, depending on when you're accessing this professional learning, you might want to include transition in the 21 to 24 school improvement plan. Obviously if you're a teacher accessing this, you'd need to then go to your school leadership team and talk about what might be an appropriate goal related to transition to see if it could be included in the next school planning cycle. If you are part of the school executive and you haven't finalised yet you strategic directions, there might be a transition strategic direction or strategy that will help support another strategic direction. Sorry, a strategy related to transition. So for instance, if you've got a direction related to relationship with families, that could be a strategy, particularly related to the relationship with the incoming families.

Sheree Bell – We've got a final task for you to reflect, evaluate and refine. So I guess this is kind of a future task, isn't it Kelly?

Kelly Birkett – Absolutely yes.

Sheree Bell – After you've implemented your actions that you've noted from step three from the reflection scaffold, that action plan so you'd be going into step four of the scaffold that has been provided and seeking a range of feedback from a range of stakeholders, kind of both formally and informally to inform your evaluation, remembering to consider and include the children's perspectives on transition practices, their thoughts, feelings, emotions and expectations. Then using that feedback to modify and shape practices for implementation in the following years transition program.

Kelly Birkett – Yes, that sounds great. Yes, just put some things into action and then just step back and talk to people and just make a decision about if what you're doing is effective or if it needs to be tweaked a little bit.

OK, well this is our final slide, there's an evaluation, so after you close this presentation or recording you'll be able to launch the evaluation. Sometimes myself in MyPL I find if I launch something and I complete it, but MyPL doesn't say it's completed, you might need to do the evaluation, submit it, and then refresh the screen, but also depending again when you're accessing this as a double check, MyPL is going to also email you the evaluation. You only need to complete it once, it's just a backup. It's a short anonymous evaluation and it assists us to know if this professional learning has been effective, to inform our future planning, just like informing your future transition program. So I just want to say thank you for sticking with us all the way through these four recordings. I hope your transition goes well. Don't hesitate to reach out to us via our email or in the Early Learning and schools statewide staff room. You can post, put a post in. Keep an eye out in the statewide staffroom for the posts related to transition. Yes, Thank you.

Sheree Bell – Yes, we'd absolutely love to hear from you. Thanks for joining us everyone. Thanks Kelly Birkett – Sheree, thanks for your help.

Sheree Bell – Thanks Kelly.

Kelly Birkett – Bye see you later.

End of transcript

Return to top of page Back to top